Test & Measurement

Q/V band RF upconverter tests satellite payloads

10th August 2020
Mick Elliott

The new R&S SZV100A RF upconverter from Rohde & Schwarz can test broadband transponders in the payloads of very high throughput satellites (VHTS).


To enable continually higher data rates for end users of satellite links, satellite operators are using higher frequencies, such as the Q/V band, where larger bandwidths are available.

With its 2 GHz modulation bandwidth, the RF upconverter covers the entire frequency range from 36 GHz to 56 GHz.

The Q/V band offers larger bandwidths for feeder links to satellites, making it ideal for the implementation of upcoming data links with high bit rates.

High demands are placed on microwave components in the Q/V band, which means they must undergo extensive testing during development and verification.

Amplifiers, converters, receiver modules and complete satellite payloads are just a few examples of components that have to be tested in the Q/V band.

For satellite payloads, test equipment must meet very high requirements for signal quality.

Together with the R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, the new Q/V band RF upconverter provides continuous coverage of all satellite bands from VHF to V band as well as the frequency bands for 5G in the Q/V band.

The RF performance of the R&S SMW200A delivers the modulated broadband IF signal with bandwidths up to 2 GHz, while the R&S SMA100B provides the high-precision LO signal.

The maximum output power of the R&S SZV100A is as high as +16 dBm (at 1 dB compression point).

The compact housing design, low weight and mounting points of the R&S SZV100A allow mounting as close as possible to the DUT, for example on the outside of a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC).

The distance between the IF source or LO source and the RF upconverter can be as much as 10 meters, allowing an optimised test setup.

The upconverter and the signal generators can be operated remotely with a PC software over a LAN connection.

R&S SZV remote control software enables simple and convenient configuration of the entire device setup.

The R&S SZV100A is ideal as a low-cost upgrade for existing test systems. The control software enables the setup of the R&S SZV100A, R&S SMW200A and R&S SMA100B to be operated as a single instrument.

The R&S SZV100A is now available from Rohde & Schwarz.

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